All 9 entries tagged Marketing

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October 03, 2007

The Library gets Fresh!

Writing about web page

Today is Warwick Freshers Fair, and for the first time the Library has a stand in the Student's Union, which I have been staffing for most of the day (apart from an hour when I had to rush across campus and do an induction session for some post-grad chemists - who, fortunately, did not seem to think my bright purple Freshers Fair tee-shirt was as hideous as I think it is).

I've just come back for my lunch break, and thought I'd throw a few thoughts down while I'm here.

It's going really well. The bags we had made (one of which is based on an original design of my own) are now being stuffed with Library fliers, bookmarks, pens, pencils and sweets (pieces of rock which read "Warwick Library Rocks!").

They are going down really well, and as I crossed campus to come back for lunch I spotted loads and loads of students carrying them around.

I hope that our new-found enthusuiasm for Library marketing, which seems to have coincided with the arrival of Antony Brewerton to the Library, (are these events linked? silly question!), is here to stay. We need to raise our profile, and I think we are off to a great start this year.

Setting up the stand

me mobbing innocent by-standers

September 20, 2007

Library Legs!

Writing about web page

A few months ago Antony Brewerton put together a set of short articles by new librarians, or those currently working towards chartership, to show what the apparent vision of the future of the profession might be from our point of view. This was published in Sconul Focus and can now be viewed online.

I was one of the people who contributed and sent him a piece about stereotyping, and how really, if we are to survive as a profession, we need to change the perception that seems to be so rife in the public eye, of librarians spending all day stamping books and saying "Sssshhhhhhhhhh!" and wandering about in pearls and twin sets with our grey hair up in very neat buns. I wont go into any further detail about the content as you can read the whole piece for yourself on the Sconul web site, but I am quite chuffed that I have now had something published outside of the relative safety of the Warwick Library internal staff newsletter "Off yer Trolley" (viewable by Warwick Library staff only). 

What made it even better was that the Cilip Gazette picked up on Antony's article too, so the whole thing got published there as well.  And this time they asked for photos of the authors. Well, clearly I couldnt send them a standard head-shot of me looking all Librarian to go with an article on challenging stereotypes, so, this is what they printed, and yes, they are my legs (unfortunately the fishnets dont come out so well here, the pic in the gazette is better quality). 

Library boots

Some of my colleagues (who requested not to be named) also joined me for the photoshoot - I thought it best to give Cilip some choice over what they published as this was no ordinary picture, and the results were as follows (personally I like the one with the stripper shoes standing on the law journals (appologies to our Law Librarian, Helen Riley).

library legs1 library legs 3

August 08, 2007

Bags of joy!

Sharon has just been to see me with the new Library Bags that have been delivered, they are canvas ones, partly to replace the plastic ones available in the Library and partly to give out as freebies at Fresher Fair etc.

They look great, much better than I expected, and to make them extra exciting, one of the two designs being used is based on one that I suggested.

My original suggestion was this (ignore the border - I cant seem to get rid of it):


and the final result was this:

Final design 1

I hope students like them, we have ordered quite a lot!

May 21, 2007

Research conference

Jess, Jen, Sharon and I staffed a PR stand at the Warwick Uni Research Staff Conference today.

It was much better than the one we did at the Staff Induction earlier in the year because we were better prepared and knew more about what to expect and how to target the audience.

Sharon had been in touch with CAPD who organised the event and so was aware of the research areas that the delegates were interested in, this allowed us to target those subjects and ensure we had relevant material on hand to give out and knew who all the appropriate contact people were to refer delegates to.

I had spoken to relevant Subject Librarians to find out what they were working on in related areas and what services they particularly wanted hi-lighted.

We also had better facilities arranged at the stand, with 2 laptops, 1 showing a rolling powerpoint on a larger screen and one logged into the Support for Research pages of the Library web site available for demonstrations. We also had a targeted leaflet made up specifically for Researchers and Sharon organised for this to be included in all the delegate packs for the day. We had also prepared forms to complete for delegate enquiries which made it much easier to refer queries on to relevant staff when we got back.

MRC were also there, but this time we had separate stands, which had 2 main advantages:

    • more space for publicity materials so we could each have better laid out stands and less cramped space to work in
    • it effectively doubled the presence of Library Services so potentially increasing the awareness of delegates much more than a single stand would have done

    I am really enjoying the exhibition work we are doing and hope to continue to be involved. I think it is vital that the Library is represented at such events, as we need to raise our profile within the University. It also has the obvious benefits for delegates at such events who would other wise not have had that contact and may have never found what or who they needed.

    There is a follow up meeting planned, which I will write an entry on.

    Has anyone else  been involved in similar exhibitions etc?

    Does anyone have any tips? 

    May 06, 2007

    Registering with Google

    Follow-up to Technorati from When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!

    I am working on a (non-library-related) web site for a family friend at the moment, and she is concerned about how to market it when it finally gets up and running (it is taking rather longer than expected).

    By way of research (and just playing with online stuff in the middle of the night) I have just registered this blog with Google. Apparently this may or may not mean that it gets added to Googles index, and that may or may not happen any time soon. And I also don't know how I will know either way about either thing. But I suppose it is worth investigating in the name of research for when I launch the web site I may or not finish in time.

    April 19, 2007

    Publicity Photos

    After work today I stayed behind to join a group of other apprehensive individuals in posing for some publicity shots for the Library Remodelling project.

    The Library is due to undergo something of a transformation this summer and LMG wanted pics of the building before it changed and also some shots to go on posters around campus.

    Here's one of the pics with all of us in - that's me on the right. I think they are going to cut the rest of us off it and just have Megan, the lady in the middle, on her own for the big campus posters - she does look rather happy!

    Anyway, it shows I was there!

    WMG e–learning event

    Writing about web page

    Today was the WMG Engineering E-learning event and myself, Jen and Lindsay went over to meet academics and generally talk to people about how the Library can help.

    I feel that things like this - although not presentations, are good experience for me in my quest to learn how to keep my nerves when speaking in public - so I plan to be involved in as many as possible!

    I really enjoyed this event, we spoke to a lot of people, I didnt expect so much interest, and I felt that we did tell them things they didnt know before and they were helpful things. I left with a few notes of things to look up and email to people later and a few notes on comments people made about our web site and services. It was all very useful.  

    It was also good to talk to the people on the stand for Questionmark Perception as we are currently looking at creating online tests for our students to complete following information skills courses. 

    Other points of interest were the Pod-casting stand and the Personal Response System stand - impressive stuff.

    The only thing that wasn't great was that the laptop had a touch pad and I found that quite tricky to control and we did loose the wireless connection a couple of times - I think I'll try to remember to take a mouse next time.  

    But any event where you can get your hands on those fantastic mini pizzas and divine chicken skewers that Warwick Hospitality do is worth attending! 

    March 17, 2007

    PPDP edit

    After the post I just made on blended learning and marketing I have decided to look into adding a section on promotion/marketing into my PPDP.

    This entry is really just a reminder to myself to discuss it with my mentor when we next meet. 

    Article comments – Blended learning (and marketing)

    Writing about web page

    I have just read the March Update article on Blended Learning:

    Developing the Best Blend? from Blended e-learning to Blended Learning, by Barbara Allen.

    Blended Learning is an area that fits well into the scheme of things at Warwick at the moment with the up-coming library remodel, the successful development of the Learning Grid and Biomed Grid over the last few years and the recent launch of a new library web site. Warwick seems to be currently and continually looking at ways to incorporate new and innovative teaching and learning methods into library space and provision. (Also see my earlier entry on podcasting) And so I began to read the article with much interest in how it may relate to my present post and to the way the Library is developing at the moment.

    The article reflects on the recently published report by the Higher Education Academy entitled The Undergraduate Experience of Blended E-learning: a Review of UK Literature and Practice.  Staff at Oxford Brookes considered over 300 studies on blended e-learning to produce the paper. This sounds, on first hearing, like a fairly inclusive study, blended learning hasn't been such a big concept until about 5 years ago and so we might expect there is not a vast body of literature out there to review.

    However, Allen points out that the report is focused on the work of academics and there is not a single use of the word "librarian" throughout, despite a large amount of published work on the subject from the LIS sector.  

    The rest of Allen's article goes on to discuss what is meant by, and involved in, blended learning and how students are largely overlooking many electronic provisions via Libraries and are preferring their own methods of study and communication, including the use of email, blogs, wikis, ipods, mobile phones etc. She suggests that perhaps Libraries should be focusing on tapping into the technology students choose to use outside of the educational framework and exploiting it, rather than trying to persuade students to use the methods that are generally provided - VLEs.

    I began reading the article out of interest in blended learning, but what stuck in my mind as I read, and for a long time after I had finished, was the fact that LIS studies were not included in the report and it did not look at the role of the librarian (possibly not even the library, although that is not clear from Allen's article).

    I obviously don't have to tell anyone that the image of libraries leaves a lot to be desired and that the general public (including most HE students) seem to think that librarians stamp books all day. It is upsetting to consider that the HEA did not appear to include Libraries and LIS publications in a piece of work on an area to which we are so integral. 

    The article left me thinking more about image and marketing than blended learning and so I was interested to read the following article in the same issue of Update:

    Selling the Benefits of Your Service by Fi Emberton (not available online).

    This article looks a lot at how to sell your services to the people a library may rely on for funding (Vice chancellors, council executives, heads of companies). And also on how to sell them to service users, (parents, students, teaching staff).

    It occurs to me from reading Allen's article that perhaps marketing needs to reach much much further than these 2 groups. I suppose my question is this - why are libraries overlooked when large pieces of library-relevant research are carried out by bodies who should be very much aware of the value of libraries? And which group/s of people could be targeted to address this lack of attention?

    Allen suggests making library-relevant work available via more main-stream channels, rather than keeping within LIS publications. I think she has a good point and one that can potentially be applied to other issues of raising library profiles.

    I am very naive about Library marketing and I have no idea how many academic libraries advertise within the academic departments they support, how many target new academic staff to increase departmental awareness and how many give lectures or provide workshop/induction-type sessions run by librarians in departmental buildings, rather than within the library - (these are things that Warwick is currently doing). And I really don't know how many work further afield, promotion to non-academic staff, prospective students, local communities, research organisations, professional bodies and so on (I don't know if Warwick do these things). But I would be very interested to find out and to get involved in taking the library out to people rather than waiting for them to come to us. 

    • Is anyone involved in library marketing?
    • Have you found any particular methods of promotion to be especially useful?
    • Any other thoughts?

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